12 Apr, 2005

NARC Preview

Xbox Preview | It's been banned, but we've played it. Read PALGN's exclusive preview that we wrote before we knew it was banned.
In 2001 Grand Theft Auto III changed the gaming industry forever. Since then, we have seen a many crime sims, ranging from the good (True Crime) to the downright awful (The Getaway: Black Monday). As a result, when we heard that NARC was coming for the Xbox and Playstation 2 we really didn't know what to expect.

After booting up the game it starts off with a simple menu screen that gives the player the option to either start or load a game. Upon starting the game a short FMV clip is shown that shows Jack Forzenski bashing a criminal, Eddie Jackson over the head. He quickly disappears and the police come to arrest Eddie. Eddie attacks the police officers and is then shot down. Assuming that he is dead the police prepare to arrest him, but he has injected himself with something that brings him back to life. Eddie kills the police officers and the cut-scene cuts out.

It is from there that the game begins and players are assigned their first mission. The mission is pretty simple and its objective is to take Eddie and his gang out. The player first takes control of a police officer and there are about fifteen thugs to take out. After this is done the mission is complete and another cut-scene is shown.

The seconds mission is more of a tutorial and teachers the player how to arrest, flash your badge and how to grapple an opponant. PALGN doesn't want to give away too much information but there are a lot of things to learn in NARC.

The graphics in NARC aren't as good as we were hoping. The FMV cut-scenes look like they have been given the best treatment and they look brilliant. The cars in the street are a little blocky, as is the player's character.

The game is quite easy to pick up and play but it does have a few controls. PALGN expects that NARC will have a bit of a tough time with the censors, there is frequent course language and drug references. All of this fits in well with the game though.

The sound is surprisingly decent and the voice work is top class. The music is very urban and engaging but unfortunately there is no support for custom soundtracks, as the music definitely wouldn't be for everyone.

At this stage PALGN was surprisingly impressed with NARC. It is important to note that our preview code was dated from Valentine's Day (how ironic) which means the game still has months of development ahead of it. We look forward to playing a final build because from what we've seen so far NARC looks like it will be very enjoyable.

It has literally just come to our attention as we were typing this preview that the game has been refused classification. After speaking with Red Ant it seems like they now have no intention of releasing the game. All the violence seems to fit in well with the game and this is a disappointing and very confusing decision. It is time for Australia to get an R rating. Read our comments about it in this article: http://palgn.com.au/article.php?id=2075
NARC is a game that had good potential. It's a real shame that it appears no one in Australia is going to be allowed to play it.

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